Osun empowers over 17,000 farmers
Osun State government said over 17,000 farmers have benefitted from its Quick Impact Intervention Programme (QUIIP) loans scheme, as part of a comprehensive programme to boost agriculture.
According to a statement signed by Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, a set of 77 farmers’ Cooperative groups benefited under the QUIIP I with the sum of N164, 882. 920, while another set of 419 farmers’ cooperative groups benefited from both QUIIP II programmes with N686, 786, 612. Some of the cooperative groups have as much as over 200 members.
The state governor, Rauf Aregbesola called on all farmers who had benefitted from the agriculture loans to repay the initial capital so that the money could circulate among other farmers.
He frowned at a situation where a paltry sum of N364, 693. 21 has only been repaid out of N1. 421b government lent the farmers.
On micro-credit scheme, the governor stated that government also made soft loan available for the development of small and medium scale businesses, noting that the loan was targeted at micro-enterprises such as traders, artisans, market men and women and entrepreneurs.
The General Manager of the Osun Micro-Credit Loans Agency, Dayo Babaranti, had earlier announced that almost 25,000 beneficiaries had benefitted from the facilities from the agency.
According to the governor, the state borrowed N2bn from the Central Bank of Nigeria and deposited it with the Osun State micro finance bank for the people to access at free interest rate.
Aregbesola said government undertook to pay the interest rate pegged at nine per cent by the CBN, which totalled N186m.
He noted that the interest people were supposed to pay on the principal was taken up by government, so as to make it easy for the borrowers.
Aregbesola said against the backdrop of the current economic crisis, the whole country is neck-deep in crisis, which only massive agriculture can remedy.
The governor therefore made passionate appeal to farmers across the state to stand up and redouble their efforts towards massive engagements in different forms of agricultural practices, from poultry to cash and food crops.